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Shan: Indian/Pakistani [Pictures]

Shan: Indian/Pakistani [Pictures]
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  • Shan: Indian/Pakistani [Pictures]

    Post #1 - May 27th, 2006, 7:25 am
    Post #1 - May 27th, 2006, 7:25 am Post #1 - May 27th, 2006, 7:25 am
    LTH,

    Had an enjoyable lunch at Shan, a modest Pakistani run restaurant set in a small grocery/convenience store. It had been a while since I was there and I noticed a subtle, which actually has been occurring, slowly, over the course of the 5-6 years I've been going, change. What was once, basically, impenetrable to those not already familiar with Indo/Pakistani food has become, if not easily navigated, accessible.

    It's as if they, and by they I mean the general group of modest Indo/Pak restaurants that have a low incidence of non Indo/Pak customers, realize there are non Indo/Pak customers out there who enjoy the food as it is meant to be and do not wish flavor/spice/oil and general goodness to be toned down.

    That said, the first dish our waiter recommended to us was Butter Chicken, which is, seemingly, the standard recommendation to all whose grandmothers are not from the subcontinent. :) Having recently had a mildly uninspiring version at Usmania I wanted to taste Shan's Butter Chicken, which turned out to be full flavored and almost over the top rich with its shimmer of glistening ghee topping the dish.

    Shan Butter Chicken
    Image

    Bhindi Gosht, okra with lamb and lovely pickled lemon rind verging on aggressively spiced, with the bonus of a wee bit of marrow remaining in the lamb bones.

    Bhindi Gosht
    Image

    We had a couple of vegetable dishes, Palak Aloo (spinach/potato) and Aloo Gobi (potato/cauliflower), both of which I'd happily recommend.

    Aloo Gobi
    Image

    Palak Aloo
    Image

    I'm a paratha fan, something about griddled whole wheat flour, though Shan's naan is quite good as is the Aoo Paratha (paratha w/potato). We also had a very nice version of mutton biryani, we had decided on goat biryani, but goat is Friday only.

    Mutton Biryani
    Image

    We started our meal with crisp samosa, though I noticed a number of other customers opted for a pre lunch snack of chicken tikka leg quarters, both from the hot case in the front.

    Samosa
    Image

    Shan carries a few sweets, which look nice though I've never tried them.
    Image

    In addition to general grocery items plus cigs, lottery tickets, and a few fresh meat items in the back butcher case, Shan has a small selection of Ethiopian dry goods and 6 types of fresh made Injera.

    Image

    Tasty well prepared food, comfortable, though very modest, dining area, interactive helpful staff and reasonably priced. Our lunch came to $11 per person including tax and tip.

    Image
    Image

    A few additional pictures, including menu, may be be found here.

    Enjoy,
    Gary

    Shan
    5060-A N. Sheridan Rd
    Chicago, IL. 60640
    773-769-4961
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #2 - May 27th, 2006, 9:37 am
    Post #2 - May 27th, 2006, 9:37 am Post #2 - May 27th, 2006, 9:37 am
    One of G Wiv's first posts on Chowhound was about Shan, four years ago; it's so adorable to see a little baby G Wiv talking so enthusiastically about scarfing down Brains Masala!

    Many years and brains devoured later, it was a pleasure to lunch with the older, more jaded and dissipated G Wiv as well as Cathy2 and Helen at Shan, which has quite the atmosphere-- imagine if you took a convenience store and treated it like mashed potatoes, digging out a hole in the middle and pushing everything up onto the sides. That's how it feels to dine in the little lunch area center of Shan while Diet Coke and Brawny paper towels tower over your head on the sales shelves.

    On the whole things were quite tasty, freshly made and with bright spices. The butter chicken was a little salty on its own but tasted great scooped up with the nan. The potato paratha and the humble samosas were both much more bright tasting than the usual, left-to-sit-for-hours versions you have of these sorts of things. And the biryani was possibly the best I've ever had, mind you, I don't really like biryani all that much so I wouldn't take that endorsement and run with it, but where it's usually kind of dry and dull to me compared to other juicy, sauce-based Indian dishes, this had a lot of flavor and a little more wetness and/or grease than usual.

    I liked Shan a lot and it may just have become my no-atmosphere replacement for the old Khan BBQ if the new one winds up moving into a posher class when they open in the Jewel of India space.
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  • Post #3 - May 27th, 2006, 11:29 pm
    Post #3 - May 27th, 2006, 11:29 pm Post #3 - May 27th, 2006, 11:29 pm
    Hi,

    Shan is in an easy to drive by location on Sheridan Road just south of Foster. It is in the crook of an L-shaped shopping center, which came a bit faster than I had expected.

    I did not realize initially this was THE Shan from the legendary 24-hour-athon memorialized in an article by Monica Eng which led me to Chowhound.com. In fact there was only one person in this article I recognized, it was the poster known as Just Joan who also attends Culinary Historians. Khan was where the intrepid 24-hour-athon had a 6 AM breakfast of brains masala. When Gary inquired about ordering brains masala, the waiter advised it is no longer offered. Disappointing as I would have loved the opportunity.

    Gary and Mike captured the meal well in both pictures and narrative. Despite my relatively lower level of heat tolerance, everything we ordered was well within my range. I thought the samosa was an especially well made with a lighter skin than normally encountered. I especially missed Khan's samosa when I went to Kamdar Plaza later that evening where I found Kamdar's samosa pretty leaden in comparison:

    Image

    After I left Khan's, dinner seemed like a vague idea likely never to occur. Yet I rebounded and went to Kamdar Plaza for Indian street food. Bhel puri ordered sweet, as I learned a few years ago telling an Indian mildly hot was way beyond my personal range. Bhel Puri are fried pastas and cereal puffs, similar to rice crispies, mixed with tamarind-based chutney sauce, onions, potatoes, cilantro and a green chili chutney sauce lightly applied for my taste.

    Image

    I also had Sev Puri, which my Mom remarked was like Mexican tostadas. It is a reasonable comparative, each round thin fried crisp was mounded with a mixture of potatoes, onions, lentils, sweet and spicy chutneys and yogurt, then sprinkled with crisped sev, which looks like noodles.

    Image

    During this light meal, we had mango and salt lassi. The salt lassi had a bit of ground coriander (I believe) added to it.

    Image

    Yeah it was quite a day to be a food adventurer!

    Kamdar Plaza
    2646 West Devon Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60659
    773-338-8100
    http://www.kamdarplaza.com

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
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  • Post #4 - May 28th, 2006, 6:26 am
    Post #4 - May 28th, 2006, 6:26 am Post #4 - May 28th, 2006, 6:26 am
    I'm sad to hear about shan not offering brain/mughuz masala anymore. It was my desire for a good version of this dish which led to it being ordered during that 24 hour eating marathon. The dish had been a favorite of my grandfather's and sometimes when remembering him, I seek it out, shan's was about perfect. Does anyone know of a good version, now that they are no longer serving it?

    I've mentioned kamdar a few times in the past - I like the fact that the proprietress (at the cash register rather than at the snack counter) will give unbiased opinions about various products (such as which brands of basmati are no good). Unfortunately, I am not a big fan of their bhel puri, to me it seems like they don't get enough turnover on the puffed rice and it tastes a little old. There are however a couple of things I think they make better than any other chaat shop on devon: khaman/dhokla, which is kind of a spongy cornbready thing made with mustard seeds and curry leaves, topped with cilantro and jalapenos (make sure you ask for extra of the jalapenos in your order). I also really like their dahi bala (yogurt with chick pea dumplings topped with the typical chaat toppings - cilantro, onions, sweet and coriander chutneys. And on a day as hot as this one is shaping up to be, their falooda is quite nice, made with saffron ice cream, topped with basil seeds - I usually order mine light on the rose syrup(rooh afzah)
  • Post #5 - May 28th, 2006, 9:02 am
    Post #5 - May 28th, 2006, 9:02 am Post #5 - May 28th, 2006, 9:02 am
    HI,

    The stop at Kamdar Plaza was impulsive. If it had been pre-planned, then I would have looked up one of your posts for advice.

    The very first time I ever heard of Devon Avenue as an Indian shopping district was from my Indian neighbors in Moscow. They later introduced me to my first Bhel Puri when they visited Chicago. My first was still the best because they sent their servant behind the counter to oversee the assembly. Years later I was reading the Chicago Tribune Sunday magazine celebrity 20 questions feature with Zubin Mehta. When asked his favorite food he replied it was bhel puri.

    Zim - what is your favored source of bhel puri or do you make it yourself like Mike G?
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
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  • Post #6 - June 3rd, 2006, 12:25 pm
    Post #6 - June 3rd, 2006, 12:25 pm Post #6 - June 3rd, 2006, 12:25 pm
    Cathy, I do make it, though I'm pretty sure not like Mike G., rather easy stuff to make home especially as you can the puffed rice, the sev etc from most of the grocery stores. If you don't your own chutneys, I'd suggest getting some of the ones they provide with samosas at the various stores, they're all much better than the bottled swad stuff.

    On devon, I'm most likely to eat bhel at sukhadia's
  • Post #7 - June 3rd, 2006, 3:33 pm
    Post #7 - June 3rd, 2006, 3:33 pm Post #7 - June 3rd, 2006, 3:33 pm
    I think Sukhadia makes a very good behl puri (tho it may be a little on the hot side for some). My favorite panni puri spot too.
  • Post #8 - June 14th, 2006, 8:12 am
    Post #8 - June 14th, 2006, 8:12 am Post #8 - June 14th, 2006, 8:12 am
    LTH,

    Though a bit late to the party I'm a fan of halwa puri, love the light, crisp puri along with the dense sweet halwa nicely offset by savory chana, add a bit of pickle and tea and, for around $3, it's a breakfast that's hard to beat.

    Shan Halwa Puri
    Image

    Typically I have halwa puri at Ghareeb Nawaz, though recently Trixie-Pea, for whose palate I have great respect, was waxing poetic about the halwa puri at Shan. For a picture of Ghareeb Nawaz's halwa puri please see Sazerac's terrific Ghareeb Nawaz post.

    Shan's Chana w/puri in background
    Image

    Shan's Puri
    Image

    An early lunch at Shan, they only serve halwa puri until 11am*, for the Trixie Pea recommended Halwa Puri w/chana was only three bucks, which included seconds, if you wish, on chana and halwa, additional puri are 3-for-$1. I was especially taken with the lightness of the puri, though I wouldn't kick Ghareeb Nawaz's puri out of of the dhabas for eating papadum.

    I've still not had Tahoora's halwa puri, which I understand is very good, though only offered on the weekend.

    Enjoy,
    Gary

    *Shan's halwa puri is only until 11am and not on Wednesday

    Ghareeb Nawaz
    2032 W. Devon Avenue,
    Chicago, IL
    773-761-5300

    Shan
    5060-A N. Sheridan Rd
    Chicago, IL. 60640
    773-769-4961

    Tahoora
    2326 W Devon Ave
    Chicago, IL 60659
    773-743-7272
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #9 - June 15th, 2006, 1:44 pm
    Post #9 - June 15th, 2006, 1:44 pm Post #9 - June 15th, 2006, 1:44 pm
    That puri looks fantastic - I had no idea Shan was serving it... it's not terribly close, but I'll be trying it soon.

    I'd been before, but only out of curiousity and just picked up a samosa.

    Definitely try Tahoora's weekend puri - well worth it. Far better than Gareeb's.
  • Post #10 - June 15th, 2006, 1:54 pm
    Post #10 - June 15th, 2006, 1:54 pm Post #10 - June 15th, 2006, 1:54 pm
    That puri does look great! The puri itself at Ghareeb was not that good (too crispy and not puffy enough). The puris at Tahoora were puffy and better, though the sides I thought were somewhat less so.
  • Post #11 - June 16th, 2006, 5:18 pm
    Post #11 - June 16th, 2006, 5:18 pm Post #11 - June 16th, 2006, 5:18 pm
    kuhdo wrote:I think Sukhadia makes a very good behl puri (tho it may be a little on the hot side for some). My favorite panni puri spot too.


    I too thought Sukhadia's bhel puri was pretty good - but *very* hot (I had asked
    for it extra hot, though - friends had a very hard time handling it, and I was
    told I wouldnt be trusted to order ever again :-)

    A couple different friends are big chaat-fans, and do it once or twice every
    week on Devon. Their consensus seems to be that the *best* bhel puri on
    Devon is usually at Kamdar - they think it is usually better than Sukhadia's.
    However they are gujaratis, and are talking gujarai-style Bombay bhelpuri -
    Kamdar is a solidly old-Gujarati store, and does everything in that style.
    (This is also why their dhoklas etc, as zim said, are by far the best
    in town).

    c8w
  • Post #12 - June 17th, 2006, 12:18 am
    Post #12 - June 17th, 2006, 12:18 am Post #12 - June 17th, 2006, 12:18 am
    c8w wrote:
    kuhdo wrote:I think Sukhadia makes a very good behl puri (tho it may be a little on the hot side for some). My favorite panni puri spot too.


    I too thought Sukhadia's bhel puri was pretty good - but *very* hot (I had asked for it extra hot, though - friends had a very hard time handling it, and I was told I wouldnt be trusted to order ever again :-)


    Really? We ordered this last weekend, and it wasn't hot at all, much more sweet. I'd never had it before and really didn't know quite what to expect. It tasted a little bit too much like Rice Krispies with sugar on top, and a few savory elements randomly thrown in, for my taste.

    I'd certainly give it another shot, but it didn't excite me.

    I did like the samosas and something we got (don't recall the name) that looked like cornbread but was made with chickpea flour and served with mustardy jalapeno slices. Both were really quite good.

    This was a follow-up to some chili chiken boti at Ghareeb Nawaz that was really terrific, and a precursor to desserts at Ambala that left me wondering what all the fuss was about.
  • Post #13 - June 17th, 2006, 12:48 am
    Post #13 - June 17th, 2006, 12:48 am Post #13 - June 17th, 2006, 12:48 am
    c8w wrote:
    kuhdo wrote:I think Sukhadia makes a very good behl puri (tho it may be a little on the hot side for some). My favorite panni puri spot too.


    I too thought Sukhadia's bhel puri was pretty good - but *very* hot (I had asked for it extra hot, though - friends had a very hard time handling it, and I was told I wouldnt be trusted to order ever again :-)


    Really? We ordered this last weekend, and it wasn't hot at all, much more sweet. I'd never had it before and really didn't know quite what to expect. It tasted a little bit too much like Rice Krispies with sugar on top, and a few savory elements randomly thrown in, for my taste.

    I'd certainly give it another shot, but it didn't excite me.


    If it was actually *sweet*, they gave you the different option. As mentioned
    above, Bhel Puri can come in "hot" or "sweet" options - the hot one at
    Sukhadia is usually quite hot enough (and the "extra hot", as mentioned
    above, is hotter still). Neither can really be mistaken for sweet, I
    dont think - if you actually ordered it hot, maybe they just erred
    in fulfilling the order.


    I did like the samosas and something we got (don't recall the name) that looked like cornbread but was made with chickpea flour and served with mustardy jalapeno slices. Both were really quite good.


    Just a bhajjia, maybe? The samosa is decent - I still like Tahoora's
    samosas too, but really with any samosa you have to be lucky,
    theyre best if theyve just come out of the fryer.

    This was a follow-up to some chili chiken boti at Ghareeb Nawaz that was really terrific, and a precursor to desserts at Ambala that left me wondering what all the fuss was about.


    Is there actually a chilli chicken boti at GN now? There is a chilli chicken,
    and a chicken boti - maybe I just missed the combo. (Came close to
    picking up the chilli chicken this week but went with nehari instead -
    which was spicy, but not overly brilliant).

    Which desserts did you try at Ambala, BTW? I like their Ras Malai (again,
    its only good when fresh - and they havent had it the last couple of
    times I visited), and their jalebi (which is fresher here than anywhere
    else on Devon). And their kaju katri and kala jamuns. (BTW, I think
    Ambala gets a shipment on Thursday or Friday afternoon, depending
    on inventory - if you go Sunday evening, for example, the sweets
    are probably 2/3 days old. Except the jalebis, which are made on
    site).

    c8w
  • Post #14 - June 17th, 2006, 12:57 am
    Post #14 - June 17th, 2006, 12:57 am Post #14 - June 17th, 2006, 12:57 am
    ab wrote:That puri looks fantastic - I had no idea Shan was serving it... it's not terribly close, but I'll be trying it soon.

    I'd been before, but only out of curiousity and just picked up a samosa.

    Definitely try Tahoora's weekend puri - well worth it. Far better than Gareeb's.


    I agree on the superiority of Tahoora's halwa puri. It is 3.50 as opposed
    to GN's 3.00 IIRC, and it doesnt include seconds on anything. However
    the puris are massive, and they also have potatoes (which Shan
    apparently doesnt) and raita - you dont usually want seconds after
    gettign thru it anyway :-) They serve it till 1pm on weekends IIRC.

    Tahoora's Halwa Puri was the original I think - they did spectacularly
    well with it, massive queues every weekend, which partly resulted
    in them moving to their current huge location across the street from
    the original. Since then lots of places do Halwa Puri - King's Sweets
    does it as well, as do GN, Khans, Zam Zam etc. There was some
    talk that Ambala might start doing it too, but it hasnt happened yet.

    c8w
  • Post #15 - June 17th, 2006, 9:19 am
    Post #15 - June 17th, 2006, 9:19 am Post #15 - June 17th, 2006, 9:19 am
    I'm pretty much a novice as far as knowing much about what I'm eating or how to order when it comes to Indian food. I didn't order the bhel puri hot or sweet, so presumably they just gave us sweet. Good to know, though, as the the hot sounds like it may have been more to my taste.

    I'm pretty sure Ghareeb Nawaz had chili chicken boti, and I thought it had signage indicating it was new...bright tandoorish pink, lots of crispy bits, tart yogurt sauce, freshly made paratha...$2.99 well spent. No Biggie Fries and Biggie Coke, though. I don't know what makes something "boti" or not.

    We ordered way too much at Ambala, and I don't remember what any of it was called, except a few kinds of halwa. There was one with figs that was pretty good. There were a couple of ball-shaped things with pistachios. Some other stuff too. My intent was to order jalebi, though I don't really know what those are either, because I had read some favorable posts, but they didn't have any at the time we were there.
  • Post #16 - June 17th, 2006, 11:56 am
    Post #16 - June 17th, 2006, 11:56 am Post #16 - June 17th, 2006, 11:56 am
    The mustard seedy corn bread thing is khaman/dhokla - there's a picture up to help order it. If you liked it there, you should make sure to get it kamdar plaza, ask for extra jalapeno slices

    as far the bhel, yeah make you sure to order it hot rather than sweet or say at least "less sweet chutney" to the folks actually putting the order together. I usually order samosa chaat there - best of all chaat combos at sukhadia I think, good samosa, very good channa, and the crunch of toppings of bhel.

    Sukhadia actually offer halwa puri on weekends too (though somewhat intermittently) I like their halwa and channa quite a bit (channa more so than the other mentioned options) though I don't think their puri are that great.

    one more note on devon - noticed that the new khan's was open as I drove by last night
    Last edited by zim on September 25th, 2006, 8:22 am, edited 2 times in total.
  • Post #17 - June 17th, 2006, 1:19 pm
    Post #17 - June 17th, 2006, 1:19 pm Post #17 - June 17th, 2006, 1:19 pm
    zim wrote:as far the bhel, yeah make you sure to order it hot rather than sweet or say at least "less sweet chutney" to the folks actually putting the order together.


    Less sweet chutney will make it how hot? I once ordered bhel at medium level, which meant two different things to me and the order taker, I soldiered on trying to eat it. Fortunately, the owner took pity and exchanged it for a 'sweet' version. I have not gotten beyond 'sweet' since that time because I wasn't sure how to express myself. Perhaps I should experiment by ordering 'less sweet chutney' to check the outcome.

    Thanks, as always, for your tips.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #18 - July 1st, 2006, 3:51 pm
    Post #18 - July 1st, 2006, 3:51 pm Post #18 - July 1st, 2006, 3:51 pm
    The wife and I tried Shan recently and we absolutely loved it. We ordered samosa's, goat curry, aloo goobi and lassi. Everything was great. More people should try Shan. The samosa was not heavy or greasy. The aloo gobi was spicy but a good spicy. We'll be going back for sure. Without LTHForum we would have never known about this place.
    Sal G
    Chi cerca trova.
  • Post #19 - September 22nd, 2006, 9:51 pm
    Post #19 - September 22nd, 2006, 9:51 pm Post #19 - September 22nd, 2006, 9:51 pm
    Saw this in Dish this week:

    Marigold (4832 N. Broadway; 773-293-4653), a new modern Indian restaurant on a slowly burgeoning stretch of Uptown, has drawn raves in its first month. “We have the advantage of being the only Indian restaurant in a two- to three-mile radius,” says Sandeep Malhotra, the owner.


    Wrong!

    (Okay, I guess technically it could be right, in that Shan is Pakistani. But in the "only Indian food for two miles" sense... no.)
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  • Post #20 - September 23rd, 2006, 6:38 am
    Post #20 - September 23rd, 2006, 6:38 am Post #20 - September 23rd, 2006, 6:38 am
    Mike G wrote:Saw this in Dish this week:

    Marigold (4832 N. Broadway; 773-293-4653), a new modern Indian restaurant on a slowly burgeoning stretch of Uptown, has drawn raves in its first month. “We have the advantage of being the only Indian restaurant in a two- to three-mile radius,” says Sandeep Malhotra, the owner.


    Wrong!

    (Okay, I guess technically it could be right, in that Shan is Pakistani. But in the "only Indian food for two miles" sense... no.)


    Essence of India at Lincoln and Wilson is easily within the 2 mile radius circle. It's gotten mixed reviews on LTH, but I've had pretty decent results the two or three times I went. All those places on Belmont are just barely outside of 2 miles.

    Meanwhile, a three mile radius from Marigold easily encompasses most of the action on Devon Street.

    Sorry, couldn't help myself.

    Marigold's PR machine is obviously firing on all cylinders, as they've gotten press in the Reader, Time Out, and now Dish all in a week or two. Still not many LTH reports though.
    Joe G.

    "Whatever may be wrong with the world, at least it has some good things to eat." -- Cowboy Jack Clement
  • Post #21 - September 24th, 2006, 2:34 pm
    Post #21 - September 24th, 2006, 2:34 pm Post #21 - September 24th, 2006, 2:34 pm
    One thing to add re Kamdar's chaat selections, they are one of the few places in town that offers Delhi-style papri chaat (as opposed to the more common Bombay-style chaats).
    This is my preference (as I'm from Delhi!) & the Kamdar version is one of the best I've had. This form of papri chaat is yoghert based & is much milder if you are concerned about heat, but the ladies will spice it up as much as you ask with the imli &/or dhania chutneys.
  • Post #22 - January 16th, 2007, 7:53 am
    Post #22 - January 16th, 2007, 7:53 am Post #22 - January 16th, 2007, 7:53 am
    LTH,

    Had lunch yesterday at Shan and they have taken over the Chinese restaurant space next door. While the space seems finished there wasn't anyone there, aside from one lonely looking waiter, and it was business as usual in the old dining area.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #23 - April 8th, 2007, 2:05 pm
    Post #23 - April 8th, 2007, 2:05 pm Post #23 - April 8th, 2007, 2:05 pm
    Griffin and I had an amazing late lunch at Shan yesterday.
    As GWiv noted, they have taken over the adjacent space.
    (I know this looks like a bad photoshop job, but its real!)

    Image
    The new space was empty during our visit as well, and we opted to eat with the cabbies in the main room.

    The samosas were excellent, with highly spiced potato filling and perfectly fried (crunchy, a little greasy).

    We ordered the gosht and when we asked if we could get it with bhindi/okra, the kind waiter said we could get it with okra, cauliflower or spinach. We opted for palak gosht (spinach) with a side of the bhindi masala and the mutton biryani.

    My usual indian preferences run simliar to someone else's above: I crave the gravy dishes -- and on the face of it biryani seems like a mere rice/side dish. Not so here. This was incredible. Flavorful with a nice citrus layer from the preserved lemon. Juicy chunks of meat. Complex spicing. Moist rice.

    The palak gosht was similarly incredible. Chunks of tender and flavorful meat. Gheeful spinach (without a greasy top layer, but with all the richness). The okra was also well spiced and almost sweet at the same time as spicy. It was served in a chili-tinged puddle of ghee. The okra maintained its integrity well, which made Griffin suspect this was made from fresh okra (frozen tends to turn to mush in stews).

    The servings were ample and dishes came out as they were completed. We got the samosas immediately, then the gosht and okra. The biryani came a bit later. We also got a nan which was fine and useful for rescuing the last of the spinach. We ended up with half the okra and biryani to take home. Griffin couldn't resist the ras malai, but we took that to go as well.

    All told the meal was about $25. We tipped well and were very pleased with both food and service. (Prices were raised on a few things since the menu GWiv first posted -- around 6.99 for the gosht and biryani, but still quite a deal)

    Some disclosure FWIW: By the time of our "lunch" it was late afternoon, we hadn't eaten since breakfast, and had already stopped at Edgewater Lounge to try one of their 5 Rogue beers on tap and Hopleaf to get the rare Saison Dupont Avec le bon vieux. So I think this may have biased us just a tad. But even in our hungry state, this meal was up with Khan's BBQ in our book. We now will have a tough choice chosing which one to go to on our next trip uptown!

    Another side note: Our original lunch plans were to go to Queen of Sheba. Metromix had listed their hours as opening at 12. However, the sign on the door listed them opening at 3:30 each day. We did enjoy the opportunity to visit Golden Pacific a couple doors south. It was a sharp juxtaposition to the visceral experience we had at Chinatown Market the week before. We spent a great deal more time in here because of its cleanliness and smell-less-ness (and were rewarded with an Erik M cameo appearance during our shopping visit :)

    I am getting so hungry from posting this, I am going to warm up our leftovers now!
  • Post #24 - April 19th, 2007, 3:51 pm
    Post #24 - April 19th, 2007, 3:51 pm Post #24 - April 19th, 2007, 3:51 pm
    LTH,

    Seems the new section of Shan, where they took over the Chinese restaurant next door,* now serves Ethiopian food as well as Shan's regular lineup. We mixed two items from the Ethiopian menu in with our order, Firfir, described as Injera (Ethiopian bread) mixed with Ethiopian flavored butter, and Misser Wat, Lentil cooked in spicy berbere "Red Peppers" sauce.

    I liked the Misser Wat, a bit of a kick, though Mike G described it as "Ethiopian Arthur Bryant's sauce," The Firfir was simply roughly torn injera mixed with spiced butter and small cubes of mystery product (meat?). Firfir seems the type of filling comfort starch one has to grown up eating to appreciate. Matzo brei (fried matzo), which I love, comes to mind.

    Shan Ethiopian has been open less than a week and service was slightly disorganized. I'm looking forward to giving the Ethiopian menu another go sometime soon.

    Enjoy,
    Gary

    *Pictured above in Griffin's Wife's post
    Last edited by G Wiv on April 19th, 2007, 4:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #25 - April 19th, 2007, 4:07 pm
    Post #25 - April 19th, 2007, 4:07 pm Post #25 - April 19th, 2007, 4:07 pm
    Shan Ethiopian has been open less than a week and service was slightly disorganized.

    The Titanic is slightly wet
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  • Post #26 - July 27th, 2009, 6:00 pm
    Post #26 - July 27th, 2009, 6:00 pm Post #26 - July 27th, 2009, 6:00 pm
    Having recently relocated to Uptown from Evanston, my knowledge of the neighborhoods offerings basically consisted of pho, chinese bbq and more pho. After a rather extensive weekend of cooking, I had found myself with a surplus of basmati rice, so living less than a block away, i decided to stop by Shan, mostly because it's the only Ind/Pak place in walking distance, however the constant supply of cabs in the parking lot wasn't a bad endorsement either. For anyone who hasn't been this is a funky place, upon ordering i felt like i should pick up a couple lotto tickets while I was at it.

    Since i had a bunch of rice at home I opted for a couple proteins and figured i'd stretch a dinner and 2-3 lunches out of it. Ended up with an order of frontier chicken and lamb curry. Portion sizes for each would easily be 2 meals a piece unless ravenous.

    The frontier chicken was a nice mix of dark and light meat, but personally a bit light on spice, all and all a nice dish, but i'll be exploring more of the options before ordering again. The lamb curry was delicious, a nice complex curry with surprisingly tender and moist lamb, a dish i'll no doubt be ordering again, with the only complaint being i would have liked more lamb.

    In the end, i wasn't surprised to see that this place had previously receieved some LTH love (GNR still on display as well). I've used this forum to discover a ton of great places, and though i wouldn't call Shan a destination kind of place, the food was solid, worth a drop by if your in the area and has personally inspired me to dive deeper into a cuisine i've largely ignored outside of Khan BBQ. A quick side note, at around 5:00 on a Monday they were doing a pretty solid business.
  • Post #27 - July 30th, 2010, 6:28 pm
    Post #27 - July 30th, 2010, 6:28 pm Post #27 - July 30th, 2010, 6:28 pm
    LTH,

    Shan's been out of my rotation the last year or so, judging from today's lunch a mistake on my part.

    Paya/beef shanks

    Image

    Nehari

    Image

    Mughuz Masala/lamb brain

    Image

    Not pictured, Dal Channa, Bhindi Masala, Lamb Biryani. Highlights were rich silky smooth tongue coating nehari and earthy lamb brain enlivened with slivered ginger and cilantro.

    Shan is solidly back in my IndoPak rotation.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #28 - July 30th, 2010, 8:48 pm
    Post #28 - July 30th, 2010, 8:48 pm Post #28 - July 30th, 2010, 8:48 pm
    Three classics Gary. I've never had any at Shan. Time to fix that. By the way, I was eating Shan's samosas all last week for breakfast/lunch because I was broke and busy, and they are phenomenal. Like very phenomenal, possibly best of genre and also my favorite savory pastry in the United States. And they are a buck.
    "By the fig, the olive..." Surat Al-Teen, Mecca 95:1"
  • Post #29 - July 30th, 2010, 8:57 pm
    Post #29 - July 30th, 2010, 8:57 pm Post #29 - July 30th, 2010, 8:57 pm
    Habibi wrote:Three classics Gary. I've never had any at Shan. Time to fix that. By the way, I was eating Shan's samosas all last week for breakfast/lunch because I was broke and busy, and they are phenomenal. Like very phenomenal, possibly best of genre and also my favorite savory pastry in the United States. And they are a buck.
    .75 actually. ;)

    And, I agree, the samosas are delicious, though we did not have any today at lunch.

    Shan, 7.30.10

    Image
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #30 - July 30th, 2010, 9:14 pm
    Post #30 - July 30th, 2010, 9:14 pm Post #30 - July 30th, 2010, 9:14 pm
    I have been biking and driving past this place for three years as I make my mad trek to the Uptown Unique Thrift Store's "half price Mondays" on Sheridan. (Which is basically a United Nations mash-up of folks from all over the planet elbowing their way around super cheap items.) Every time I see Shan Foods in the corner of the very petit strip mall, I think, "Gotta check it out, seems like an lthforum gold mine if it is good." But I never have had the time. So I think the writing is on the wall, time to go. Thanks for the update, GWiv!

    bjt
    "eating is an agricultural act" wendell berry

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